We don't know exactly what went down in Beaumont, Texas over the weekend.
But we know enough.
Kendrick Perkins was arrested early Saturday morning.
The sight of the Thunder center's name splattered throughout a police report is all the evidence we need to know there is a problem. Still, the more troubling tidbit that came out of Southeast Texas was Perkins reportedly collapsing Thursday night.
According to reports, Perkins was at a house party and suffered a seizure. He collapsed and fell on the concrete. Local authorities were called. Perkins was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released. A spokesman for Oklahoma City's scowling enforcer said he was dehydrated.
Who knows if that's the real story? It all seems sketchy.
The whole ordeal, however, has dealt Oklahoma City a harsh reminder of one thing.
This NBA lockout isn't good for anybody.
Not the fans. Not the arena employees. Not the league, its owners or their television partners.
But above all, this lockout, which is now in Day 46, is increasingly endangering the players and leaving the teams for which they play powerless to help. That's quickly becoming the most worrisome side effect to this labor dispute.
Perkins becomes the latest and most chilling case of player's well-being being at risk.
While playing in a pro-am game in San Francisco, the Los Angeles Lakers' Matt Barnes punched an opposing player. During a street ballgame at Dyckman Park in New York, Minnesota forward Michael Beasley approached a heckling fan standing courtside and shoved him in the face.
Those brief skirmishes are minor compared to Perkins needing medical attention.
Yet the Thunder, like all teams, is prohibited from contacting players or their representatives during the lockout. That leaves the team's front office in the dark about the particulars and pertinent questions regarding the events of this past weekend.
Was Perkins really dehydrated Thursday night? Was his reported collapse an isolated incident, or does he have a history of seizures? What were the “minor” injuries for which he was treated at the hospital? Was his reported anger and hostility toward a nightclub manager in the early morning hours Saturday justified, or is he on some sort of me-against-the-world rampage?
Seems like things the Thunder would want to know, especially since the franchise in late February invested $32 million in Perkins over the next four years. Not to mention that face-of-the-franchise Kevin Durant and fellow teammates James Harden and Eric Maynor were all with Perkins last week in support of his basketball camp. But if anyone with the Thunder so much as called Perkins' hometown preacher to look into the situation without approval from the league, the franchise could be slapped with a $1 million fine.
That's one of the most overlooked problems with this work stoppage. Teams have had their hands tied. Their multimillion dollar investments are now strolling the streets with no real structure and no real authority to report to or coach to check in with.
It's like having to hand someone the keys to your Ford F-150 and being shut off from all communication while they take a six-month cross-country joy ride. When that something is a game-changing center, the situation is about 650 times more nerve-racking.
For teams to be prohibited from assisting with a player's rehab or skill development is one thing. Not being able to bail a player out of the big house is even understandable. But when franchises must be helpless in a time of need as serious as a medical emergency, it shines a light on how silly the rules are regarding player interaction. It suggests the league needs to loosen its laws.
Yes, these are grown men we're talking about. And, yes, they should be responsible enough to take care of themselves. But all it takes is for one show off or wannabe tough guy in a mall or park or barbershop or nightclub to provoke an incident. And lest we forget boredom's history of allowing all hell to break loose.
Sadly, if something else, big or small, should happen during this lockout, a player can't even turn to his team for help.
The scary part is we're only in Day 46.